Then came puberty..... I accepted this milestone with ease and I grinned with amusement when it was no longer cool to be naked around the parents. I gently rubbed his face after his first shave and swallowed back that huge lump in my throat at the realisation of how fast 16 years have flown by! I am delighted with his first girlfriend. I love his friends and openly welcome them into our home (and ensure that the fridge is stocked up with food!).
My first born has two and a half years left of high school and then it will be time for him to spread his wings. It is not a milestone that I look forward to; however, it will be one that I acknowledge with grace.
My second born is a completely different story!!
From the moment I realised that something was going on with my boy, I became super sensitive to milestones and the fact that he wasn't walking along a typical developmental pathway. Throw autism into the mix and milestones went for a loop de loop! Oh, how I cried over delayed crawling, walking, climbing, playing and lack of interaction (for some strange reason the lack of speech has never bothered me!). I sobbed my eyes out that mainstream schooling wasn't working for him. The day that he was due to join his big brother at big school was gut wrenching. I watched the new kids bounce into their new classrooms and I cried ugly tears that my little boy would not be joining them.
I constantly compared my boy to other children and it hurt badly. Each milestone became a burden to bear, a reminder that my child was not like other children his age. The gap widened quickly and my boy was left behind. I dreaded each birthday because it meant another year had gone by and that there was less hope of catching up to his peers. Damn milestones!
Eventually, I had to re-adjust my thinking and come to terms with my child's development (or lack thereof!). For the sake of my own wellness I had to move on.... I had to stop thinking about where my boy should be and think about where he is now!
The change of focus has helped me tremendously. I have let go of the weight that sat upon my shoulders. I feel free to accept my boy as he is. I have waved goodbye to that pressure of getting my boy to perform. I no longer compare him with his peers. I now take great delight in every little accomplishment, no matter how small it may be.
My boy is reaching his milestones.... the early ones that he missed out on! They may not be the same milestones as his peers, however, they are his own and that is what is important!
" Every small victory leads to even greater ones; and some of the seemingly smallest accomplishments may end up being what really matters." Nicole Beurkens, PhD
Di originates from New Zealand and now resides in South Africa. She is a middle aged mum who tries not to take life too seriously. She loves a daily cappuccino, reading chick lit and playing online scrabble! Di blogs at The Bright Side of Life.